By Elliott Francis
Montgomery County, Maryland school superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast is one of the nation's longest serving public school superintendents. On Tuesday, he announced he’ll retire at the end of this coming school year.
As school superintendent in districts across the country for 35 years, including 11 here in Montgomery County, Dr. Weast says the time is right for him to transition.
“I want to leave while I’m still hungry for education and our system is still thriving and growing.”
Under Weast’s guidance, the county’s school system successfully addressed the achievement gap between black and white students, and helped create overall achievement rates which are cited nationally as models of public education.
Often criticized for his uncompromising stand against county proposed budget cuts, and staffing furloughs, Weast defends his style, saying;
“Fight for every dollar you need, and fight hard. And do it in a way that lets everyone know how important these kids are.”
Weast is 63 years old. He’ll step down when his contract expires in June 2011.